dorset chiapas solidarity

June 24, 2013

Demand for Justice for Leader Assassinated in Bachajón

Filed under: Bachajon, Movement for Justice in el Barrio — Tags: , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 8:51 pm

 

Demand for Justice for Leader Assassinated in Bachajón

** This Monday they will offer a homage to Juan Vázquez Guzmán

** Tomorrow there will be a hearing about the dispossession of lands in the ejido

By: Hermann Bellinghausen

Bachajon y Juan Ingles ChicoThe Tzeltal ejido owners, adherents to the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandón Jungle in San Sebastián Bachajón, municipality of Chilón, Chiapas, demanded justice and not impunity for the assassination of their leader Juan Vázquez Guzmán on April 24 in the doorway of his home, in an act directly related to his role in the resistance against mega-tourism at the Agua Azul Waterfalls and in defense of the area of San Sebastián territory occupied by public force by means of illegal maneuvers, with the complicity of ejidal authorities.

They also demanded the freedom of three of their compañeros (Antonio Estrada, Miguel Vásquez and Miguel Demeza), each in different prisons under ridiculous charges which expose the reality of Chiapan justice, especially that of the public ministries and municipal governments (in this case, which is not the only one, those of Chilón and Ocosingo).

The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (CIDH, its initials in Spanish) recently notified the ejido owners that, as a result of their petition for precautionary measures, sent on May 26, it has sent a request for information to the Mexican government about the dispossession in the ejido, the aggressions and threats.

Next Tuesday, the constitutional hearing for amparo (protective order) 274/2011 is scheduled before the seventh district judge in Tuxtla Gutiérrez, in order to to make a decision for the second time about the dispossession of the lands of the people of Bachajón, after the first decision was declared illegal by the Third Collegiate Tribunal when resolving the amparo in review no. 118/2013.

This Monday at Cumbre Nah Choj, headquarters of the adherents to the Sixth in San Sebastián, a homage to Vázquez Guzmán will be held “two months after his political assassination.” He would have been 33 years old on June 25. On this day the Worldwide Campaign Juan Vázquez Guzmán Lives, the Bachajón Struggle Continues will begin, convoked by the Movement for Justice in El Barrio from New York and solidarity groups from the United Kingdom, Kolkata (India), Alisal (California) and Mexico, to which have been added other organizations like the Movement for Peace with Justice and Dignity.

Solidarity activities are anticipated in South Africa, the Philippines, Peru, Australia, Italy, Uruguay, Puerto Rico, Canada, Brazil, Ecuador, Austria, New Zealand, England, Scotland, Colombia and Germany.

From Peru, Hugo Blanco, director of the magazine Lucha Indígena, pertinently commented: “So far there has been no progress in the investigations into the perpetrators of the crime; on the contrary, harassment and persecution are constant. A few days after the murder of Juan Vázquez Guzmán, Jorge Luis Llaven Abarca, Secretary of Security and Civil Protection in the State of Chiapas, announced the training that the Israeli Ministry of Defense in Mexico will provide for the local police.”

The three levels of government, he says, “wanted to stop the compañero from doing his job. There is an ongoing criminal investigation, but there have been no arrests. The perpetrator escaped. They were people who knew the place, they had a well-planned escape route,” and very probably official protection.

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Originally Published in Spanish by La Jornada

Monday, June 24, 2013

En español: http://www.jornada.unam.mx/2013/06/24/politica/018n1pol

English translation by the Chiapas Support Committee for the: International Zapatista Translation Service, a collaboration of the: Chiapas Support Committee, California, Wellington Zapatista Support Group, UK Zapatista Solidarity Network.

 

 

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FROM THE EJIDO SAN SEBASTIAN BACHAJON, 24 JUNE 2013

Filed under: Bachajon, Movement for Justice in el Barrio, Uncategorized — Tags: , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 8:36 pm

FROM THE EJIDO SAN SEBASTIAN BACHAJON, ADHERENTS TO THE SIXTH DECLARATION OF THE LACANDON JUNGLE, CHIAPAS, MEXICO.  24 JUNE 2013

To the people of Mexico and the world

To the compañer@s adherents to the sixth declaration of the Lacandon Jungle

To the mass and alternative media

To national and international human rights defenders

To the Good Government Juntas

To the Zapatista National Liberation Army

To the Network against Repression and for Solidarity

To the indigenous peoples in resistance

To public opinion

034juanCompañeros and compañeras in struggle in Mexico and the world, we send combative greetings from the women and men of Bachajon. Here we continue in struggle, resisting with hope to defend our mother land from dispossession by this accursed government which only wants to sow terror and destruction in our communities.

The bad governments kill and imprison those who struggle for better living conditions for their people. For this reason, two months ago they ordered the assassination of our compañero Juan Vazquez Guzman by their hired assassins while he was resting quietly at home, but the treacherous government wickedly ordered his murder to put an end to our struggle, but they were wrong, because we are here, we are staying here and we are not going to leave our land which is the birthplace of our mothers and fathers, our grandfathers and grandmothers who also fought and gave their lives for the mother earth.

But we already know the perverse game the bad governors will play, because they are going to say they will give justice to Juan Vazquez Guzman, that they will make investigations and that those responsible will be apprehended; but are they going to put Noe Castañon Leon and his crew in prison for what they did to Juan Vazquez Guzman and for the plundering of San Sebastian Bachajón? They are quietly doing their dirty deeds, abusing their power and money, buying judges like Jose del carmen constantino Avendaño from the seventh district of tuxtla, so he will throw out our amparo 274/2011, playing games with our people who are peacefully resisting and defending their rights.

Noe Castañon Leon and his gang are a bunch of freeloaders who live off public money and taxes, who get rich at the expense of our suffering and through the exploitation of our work, their families put them in the government so that the people will keep them; for these reasons this government is corrupt and mediocre because they came to power through buying votes, taking advantage of the poverty of the people, for the bad government it is a blessing that we are poor, so they have their programs – crusades against hunger, opportunities, procampo – which are merely crumbs to keep us in poverty; they want us to remain in misery and to have no autonomy as peoples to be able to decide what is best for our peoples. This is why they buy the ejido authorities, such as Francisco Guzmán Jimenez (aka goyito) who betrays his people only to eat the few crumbs thrown to him by his patron the government, they have also fraudulently imposed the new ejidal commissioner Alejandro Moreno Gomez and they use our indigenous brothers from Agua Azul as paramilitaries to attack the resistance in San Sebastian Bachajon and of our compañeros at bolom ajaw.

Our compañero  Juan Vazquez Guzman knew all about what the bad government was doing against our people, and while dreaming of seeing his people free from the oppression and abuse of the exploiters, he struggled for the autonomy and freedom of his people.

We demand the immediate release of our compañeros the political prisoners ANTONIO ESTRADA ESTRADA, MIGUEL VAZQUEZ DEARA and MIGUEL DEMEZA JIMENEZ, unjustly imprisoned by this bad government. Antonio Estrada Estrada, prisoner in Playas de Catazajá, and Miguel Vazquez Deara, prisoner in Ocosingo, were identified by people close to the former ejidal commissioner, Francisco Guzmán Jiménez (aka el goyito), who are Carmen Aguilar Gómez Primero, Juan Álvaro Moreno, Manuel Jiménez Moreno and Miguel Ruiz Hernández, to be taken away by the State and Federal Police to be tortured and charged with the fabricated crimes of robbery with violence and the possession of a firearm; they have been unjustly imprisoned since 2011. Miguel Demeza Jimenez, prisoner in el Amate, was tortured and put in solitary confinement (arraigado)  by the specialized prosecutor against organized crime, falsely accused of robbery and kidnapping, and has been unjustly imprisoned since 2010.

Recently the compañero Miguel Vázquez Deara, as a result of his appeal, has had his case reviewed and on Wednesday June 26 his legal situation will be resolved; we demand that the joint judge of Ocosingo grants our compañero his freedom because he is innocent, he has been tortured and his crime fabricated. Also compañero Miguel Demeza Jimenez will soon have his amparo1478/2012 resolved by the fifth District Judge in tuxtla concerning the fabricated crime of robbery with violence of which he was accused by the prosecutor of organized crime; we demand his freedom. On June 20 our compañero Antonio Estrada Estrada had his charges cancelled from when the state police illegally arrested him, because there he had no Tzeltal translator or legal defender, grossly violating his rights, in addition to all the other injustices suffered by our fellow prisoners.

ssb1Compañero Juan, today we remember you with prayer and traditional music. Beloved compa Juan, you are now resting in a better life, you struggled and you gave your life for your people and for the release of the political prisoners, rest in peace because here we continue organized in the struggle against this terrible capitalist system; and your life is like a seed of hope and rebellion that is growing in the hearts of every child, woman and man from San Sebastian Bachajon and in the hearts of compañeros and compañeras from around the world.

We welcome with joy the words of solidarity and support from our compañeros and compañeras of Movement for Justice in El Barrio, Dorset Chiapas Solidarity Group, the Committees of the True Word from Kolkata and Alisal, Compañero Hugo Blanco of Lucha indígena in Perú, and Movement for Peace with Justice and Dignity. Receive a combative embrace of solidarity from our people for your struggle.

Tomorrow, June 25th, the Worldwide Campaign ‘Juan Vazquez Guzman Lives, the Bachajón Struggle continues!’ will begin. Our cry for freedom and justice will be heard in every corner of the world, we ask compañeros and compañeras in their own ways to shout together for JUSTICE for our people and for FREEDOM for political prisoners ANTONIO ESTRADA ESTRADA, MIGUEL VAZQUEZ DEARA, MIGUEL DEMEZA JIMENEZ, ALBERTO PATISHTAN GOMEZ, ROSARIO DIAZ MENDEZ and for all the political prisoners in Mexico and the world.

From the northern region of Chiapas, receive an embrace from the women and men of San Sebastian Bachajón.

Respectfully

Land and Freedom!

Hasta la victoria siempre!

Freedom for Political Prisoners!

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The Classmates III. Those who were not, are not, and will not be… invited

Filed under: Marcos, Zapatista — Tags: , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 8:29 pm

 

The Classmates III.
Those who were not, are not, and will not be…
invited

June 2013.

To the adherents of the Sixth in Mexico and the world:

To the students of the Zapatista Little School:

Compañeros, compañeroas, and compañeras:

The following people won’t be your classmates in the little school, because we didn’t invite them:

The legislators who made up the Peace and Reconciliation Commission (COCOPA) in 1996-1997. It would, however, have been beneficial for them to realize that they had not been mistaken in their initiative for the constitutional recognition of indigenous rights and culture, which was betrayed by all of the political parties, as well as the legislature, the executive, and the judiciary.

The current legislators of COCOPA. Although it would have helped them to discover where the door to reactivate dialogue with the EZLN is located.

The presidents of the registered political parties (PRI, PAN, PRD, PVEM, PT, MC and NA). Because we don’t have enough antacids to alleviate the outrage it would cause them to see the evidence of what can be done, not only without the political parties, but despite them.

The chairmen of the legislature committees and the coordinators of the parliamentary factions. Although it would have been good for them to see what even their counter-reform of the indigenous law could not prevent.

The Secretary of National Defense, the Secretary of the Navy, the Center for Research and National Security (CISEN), the Attorney General (PGR), the National Security Commission, the Secretary of Social Development, and the Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation. Although they would have been able to confirm their intelligence reports, which tell them that the standard of living in the Zapatista indigenous communities has risen significantly despite their counterinsurgent efforts, their support for paramilitary groups, and their policing approach to a just and legitimate struggle. Beyond that, they could have confirmed first hand the persistence of that which they have tried so hard to destroy: indigenous autonomy.

The North American State Department, the CIA, the FBI. Although it would have helped them understand their repeated failures…and those yet to come.

The various espionage agencies languishing in boredom in San Cristóbal de Las Casas, Chiapas, where their only occupation is to encourage the raging gossip among the local [Coleta] NGOs.

The Boss,[i] who really gives orders to all of them, and to whom they bow and flatter. Although he would have shuddered to see that his recurrent nightmare has become a reality.

They have never been, nor are, nor will be our guests.

Rather, they have been, are, and will be our persecutors, those who search for a way to destroy us, to break us, to buy us, to force us to surrender.

They will always be spying on us, watching us, and cursing us, as they are now, as they were yesterday, and as they have been for 10, 20, 30, 500 years.

We are not inviting them not only because curriculum doesn’t include groups with no learning capacity, or so as not to encourage the ‘bullying’ to which they would be subjected by the other students (I know, what a shame), or because we have better ways to waste our time.

We are not inviting them because, just as we will not stop resisting and struggling, neither will they stop despising us, trying to exploit us, repress us, to strip us of what is ours, and to make us disappear.

And just as we will never learn the language of money, they will never learn to respect that which is different.

Above all, we are not inviting them because they, and he who commands them, will never understand why, instead of dying, we live.

-*-

And so, oh well, you can’t count among your classmates such ‘illustrious’ people. And therefore you won’t appear in the written media, or on the radio, or on television, and there won’t be roundtables, debate, or brainy analysis. That is, as they say, the air will be clean. And the land, which birthed us and nurtured our growth, will appreciate the dignified step that walks upon it: yours.

Vale. Health and freedom, the step of those below is welcome here, as is their heart.

From the mountains of the Mexican Southeast.

SupMarcos.

Mexico June 2013

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Watch and listen to the videos that accompany this text:

Oscar Chávez and los Morales pointing to the chupacabras, which, as you see, are the same as ever.

A brief explanation of the Mexican government’s counter-insurgent strategies and the use of paramilitary groups.

Guillermo Velázquez and los Leones de la Sierra de Xichú, accompanying Oscar Chávez in this long “Pleito entre el peso y el dólar” (dispute between the peso and the dollar).


[i] This refers to former president of Mexico [1988-1994], Carlos Salinas de Gortari.

 

 

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June 23, 2013

Classmates II. Still missing: The Political Prisoners

Filed under: Marcos, Political prisoners, Uncategorized, Zapatista — Tags: , , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 5:52 pm

CLASSMATES II.

 Still missing:

THE POLITICAL PRISONERS.

June 2013.

To the adherents of the Sixth in Mexico and in the World:

To the students of the Little Zapatista School:

Compañeras, compañeros, compañeroas:

In addition to the fallen and the disappeared in the struggle, who won’t be present but will indeed be accompanying us in the Little Zapatistas School, are the political prisoners who, under various juridical ruses, are held in the prisons of the world or in political exile.

There are thousands of them throughout the world, and our small word won’t reach all of them. Even as we are relying on our compañer@s in the National Network Against Repression and for Solidarity to try to reach as many as possible, there will always be some we don’t get to.

That is why we are sending this invitation, among many others, to some of the political prisoners who symbolize not only the absurdity of trying to lock up freedom, but also, and above all, the dignified resistance and perseverance of those who are not defeated by guards, walls, and bars.

Among them you will find:

Alberto Patishtán Gómez –  Sentenced to 60 years in prison. This June 19th he will complete 13 years behind bars. His crime: being Mexican, Chiapan, indigenous, a professor, and a Zapatista sympathizer. Despite the evidence of his unjust incarceration, the judicial authorities are delaying his liberation. In the words of one government official: “If we free Patishtán it will be a doubly bad sign: it will give evidence that the judicial system is a bunch of shit, and it will encourage the struggle to free the other prisoners. It is something that does not suit us from any perspective. It is better to wait until those who are making so much noise about this get tired.” But here we already know that the judicial system in Mexico is a bunch of shit and that those who fight for the freedom of the political prisoners will not tire…ever.

Leonard Peltier -  Has served 37 years in prison. His crime: belonging to the native Sioux Chippewa (Anishinabe-Lakota) people and struggling for the rights of native peoples in the American Union. He was taken prisoner in 1976 and sentenced to two consecutive life sentences (perhaps because his persecutors wanted to be sure he wouldn’t get out dead or alive). He was accused of killing two agents of the FBI (Federal Bureau of Intelligence). The incident took place on Pine Ridge, sacred territory of the Sioux people, in South Dakota, USA, where there are uranium and carbon fields.

He was sentenced without any proof and despite over 10,000 pages of documentation evidencing his innocence. The FBI’s accusation can be summarized like this: “Somebody has to pay.” Robert Redford made a film about his case, a film which has never been shown in North American theaters. Meanwhile, the FBI “boys” and “girls,” who come off so well in television mini-series, have killed 250 Lakota indigenous people. There isn’t a single investigation of these crimes. This in a country built on the dispossession of the lands belonging to the native peoples of that part of the American continent.

Mumia Abu Jamal – United States citizen. Prisoner for 30 years. His crime: being a journalist and an activist for those discriminated against because of their color, in the United States. He was initially sentenced to death, and is now serving a life sentence. The whites accused him of killing a white, he was judged by whites, sentenced by whites, he was to be executed by whites, and he is guarded by whites. This in a country built on the exploitation of the blood and sweat of the slaves brought from Africa who, of course, were not white.

Edward Poindexter and Mondo We Langa United States citizens. Their crime: fighting for the rights of the African American population in the United States. Victims of the Counter Intelligence Program (COINTELPRO) of the FBI, they were accused of killing a police officer in 1970 by blowing up a dynamite-filled suitcase. Despite the confession of the real culprit, the FBI manipulated and planted evidence against these two militants of the Black Panther organization. Various items of juridical evidence prove their innocence. They are still imprisoned in a country that values the integrity and impartiality of its juridical system.

Julian Paul Assange - Originally from Australia and a citizen of the world. He is now a political refugee. His crime: to divulge to the world, among other things, the corruption of US foreign policy. Assange is currently pursued by the US and British governments, the two supposed defenders of justice and liberty.

Bradley Manning - First class soldier in the US army. His crime: to release a video showing US soldiers killing Iraqi civilians from a helicopter. Among those killed are two journalists. He is also accused of having leaked documents about the barbaric US actions in Afghanistan and Iraq. The principal charge against Bradley Manning, which could lead to his execution, is that of “aiding the enemy,” that is, aiding the world in knowing the truth. This in a country held together by the lie of a constant external threat (Muslims, Asians, Latinos, etc., that is, the entire world), and according to the recently revealed “intelligence operations” (really spying), US citizens are also a threat.

Antonio Guerrero Rodríguez, Fernando González Llort, Gerardo Hernández Nordelo, Ramón Labañino Salazar and René González Sehwerert - The homeland of these five people is Cuba, the first free territory in the Americas. They are also knows as “the five Cubans.” Their crime: to have leaked information about the plans of terrorist groups with bases in the United States. In June of 1998, Cuba gave the FBI a report obtained by the five Cubans, including hundreds of pages of documents, videos, and audios of terrorist activities in the US. Instead of dismantling the terrorist cells, the FBI detained the five Cubans who, in reality, had saved the lives of dozens of people, principally tourists, who would have been the target of the attacks. Antonio is an engineer, Fernando a diplomat, Gerardo a cartoonist, Ramón an economist, and René a pilot. They are prisoners for the crime of spying, even though during their trial the prosecutors themselves testified that the material they had obtained did not affect the national security of the United States, and that Cuba did not represent a threat. All this in the territory of they who say they are fighting international terrorism.

Maria Alyójina, Yekaterina Stanislávovna Samutsévich y NadezhdaTolokónnikova –  Russians, members of the punk rock group

“Pussy Riot.” Their crime: denouncing the complicity of the top clergy of the Orthodox Church in the imposition of Vladimir Putin. They were arrested and taken prisoner for playing punk music in a church. The lyrics of the song asked the mother of god to throw Putin out of government. They were sentenced to two years in prison for “undermining the social order.” This in a country that prides itself on having liberated itself from “communist tyranny.”

Gabriel Pombo da Silva - Anarchist born everywhere and nowhere. He has been in 20 different prisons over almost 30 years in Spain and Germany. His crime: being a person of principle. To his persecutors he said: There is nothing more deplorable than a satisfied slave… an individual disposed of memory and dignity… it is preferable to be taken to the scaffolds for having rebelled than living 100 years of “conditional freedom,” conditioned by the fears and lies that they have sold us, indoctrinated in us…” Regarding his condition as a political prisoner, he has been clear: “I am certain that for me (as for many others) the possibility of getting out of prison for reasons based on their laws is impossible…because their legality requires my renunciation of my political identity… And obviously whoever renounces their own political identity not only betrays himself but all those who have come before him in this long march for dignity and freedom. There is nothing heroic nor “martyr-like” (the cemetery is already full of those) in this perspective. I believe it sincerely and with all of my hear and that is why I am willing to accept “paying my tax” for being honest with myself and what I think and feel…”

(…)

Why do I tell you about these political prisoners, so different and distant from each other? Because for the Zapatistas, freedom is not the patrimony of a creed, an ideology, a political position, or a race. In the videos you will see what we are talking about and this will help you listen, which is how one begins to understand. These consist of about 15 minutes that will help you to peer into the many worlds that exist in this world.

Like these men and women, hundreds of political prisoners have been invited to the Little Zapatista School. We have sent all of them a letter much like the one I annex here. We hope they have received them, as well as the books and audios and videos where we tell our story. We hope that they accept our invitation, not because we think we could teach them anything, but so that they know what it is we call freedom here.

Here it is:

ZAPATISTA ARMY OF NATIONAL LIBERATION

MEXICO.

May of 2013.

For: ___________________________

From: The Zapatista women, men, kids, and elderly.

Regarding: Special invitation to participate in the Little Zapatista School.

Compañer@:

We send you a greeting from all of the children, old people, women, and men of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation.

We write you because we want to extend to you a special invitation to participate in the Little Zapatista School, “Freedom According to the Zapatistas.”

We know that perhaps it will be impossible for you to participate personally on this occasion. But we know well that the day will come when the doors of the prisons will open for those who, like you, have been taken prisoner by injustice-made-government. And those same doors will remain open long enough so that the bankers and their helpers can go in.

In the meantime, we will see about a way to get you the materials. These consist of texts with the words of our Zapatista compañeras and compañeros, in their great majority Mayan indigenous people, in which they tell their own story of struggle. It is a story surely similar to yours, full of the continuous ups and downs that make up the struggle for freedom, the pain that fills it, the hope that overflows it, and that persistent stubbornness that, like you, doesn’t give in, doesn’t give up, and doesn’t sell out.

Perhaps these won’t get to you just now. It is very probable that your jailers and prosecutors will confiscate the material, alleging that the package contains dangerous material. Because merely the world “freedom,” when it is lived from below and to the left, is one of the many horrors that fill the nightmares of those who are above at the cost of pain for everyone else.

In any case we wait here for your attendance, sooner or later. Because if our resolve is for freedom, one of our distinguishing characteristics is patience.

Vale.  Cheers and let liberty be what it should be, that is, the patrimony of humanity.

In the name of all of the Zapatistas of the EZLN,

Subcomandante Insurgente Moisés.                          Subcomandante Insurgente Marcos.

Mexico, May of 2013.

(end of the invitation letter to the political prisoners)

(…)

Well then, now you know a few more of those invited to participate in the Little School with you.

Don’t be scared of them. They aren’t criminals; that designation belongs to those who keep them prisoner.

Vale.  Cheers and may you find freedom the only way possible, that is, with all of them.

(To be continued…)

From the mountains of the Mexican Southeast.

Subcomandante Insurgente Marcos.

Mexico, June of 2013.

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See and listen to the videos that accompany this text:

Bishop Raúl Vera, always on the side of those below, talking about the political prisoner Alberto Patishtán.

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Silence and the word according to the native Lakota people.

…………………………

The group “The Last Poets,” with “True Blues,” a recorrido, in a blues rhythm, about the oppression of the African American population throughout history.

…………………………..

The North American actors Danny Glover and Peter Coyote in solidarity with the 5 Cuban political prisoners in the United States.

……………………………..

The punk group Pussy Riot in the performance where they oppose Vladimir Putin.

………………………………………….

The punk group “Espina Negra” with this track called “El primer Anarquista” (The First Anarchist).

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June 22, 2013

The 17th anniversary of a landmark case in the paramilitary war

Filed under: Human rights, Paramilitary — Tags: , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 2:16 pm

 

The 17th anniversary of a landmark case in the paramilitary war

 ** In Chiapas, crimes against Chols go unpunished

** Minerva, victim of counterinsurgency practices

By: Hermann Bellinghausen

San Cristóbal de las Casas, Chiapas, June 20, 2013

Minerva’s disappearance 17 years ago has become emblematic of an entire paramilitary war, officially denied, against the Chol communities in the 1990s. A string of crimes are to this day unpunished. According to available information, the young woman was beaten up and sexually violated by her captors for three days, and her whereabouts remain unknown.

After many years of promoting the case against the Mexican State on the part of the indigenous, it has finally been accepted by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (CIDH, in its Spanish initials).

The Fray Bartolomé de las Casas Human Rights Centre (Frayba) recalled that on June 20, 1996, in the Chol community of Miguel Alemán, Tila municipality, Minerva Guadalupe Pérez Torres, 19 years old, was disappeared. “That day, members of the then paramilitary group Development Peace and Justice intercepted her while she was on her way to visit her parents in the Masojá Shucjá community, in the lower zone of Tila.” This occurred within the context of the Zapatista Rebellion and the intense militarization of the communities, which generated community divisions and extremely violent counterinsurgency practices.

Minerva’s disappearance “is framed within the strategy of a counter-insurgency war planned by the government of Mexico in the Northern Zone, particularly in Tila, Sabanilla, Tumbalá and Salto de Agua, and implemented by the paramilitary group Development Peace and Justice, which has demonstrated through the years that it was driven and trained by the government of Mexico, as the CIDH’s report after its visit to Chiapas in 1998 indicates.”

Faced with the lack of justice in Mexico, in 2004 family members of Minerva and of the region’s other victims presented a petition to the CIDH against the Mexican State. With it, Frayba points out, “information was delivered about the forced disappearance of 32 men and 5 women, as well as the execution of seven women and 78 men, as a significant sample of the low-intensity war which was implemented in the Northern Zone between 1995 and 2000, and which to this day continues to have psycho-social effects in that region’s indigenous communities.”

Of the 122 cases documented by Frayba, eight make up the petition to the CIDH. After years of seeking justice, the Centre says, on March 20, 2013 the CIDH emitted the report of admissibility, “indicating that the Mexican State is the one allegedly responsible for human rights violations (case 12,901).”

 

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Originally Published in Spanish by La Jornada

Friday, June 21, 2013

En español: http://www.jornada.unam.mx/2013/06/21/politica/023n1pol

 

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They demand Patishtán’s release with a march around the prison

Filed under: Political prisoners — Tags: , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 11:23 am

 

They demand Patishtán’s release with a march around the prison

 ** The Tzotzil activist completes 13 years of a 60-year sentence

** Hundreds also pray for other prisoners, adherents to the Sixth

Foto

The Committee for the Liberation of Alberto Patishtán held a public event at the Palace of Fine Arts on the 13th anniversary of the imprisonment of the Tzotzil professor. Photo: Carlos Ramos Mamahua.

By: Hermann Bellinghausen

San Cristóbal de las Casas, Chiapas, June 19, 2013

With a Catholic mass at the side of the road to Ocosingo, and an impressive march around prison number 5 where Alberto Patishtán Gómez is imprisoned, hundreds of people, the majority indigenous from El Bosque, took advantage of another infamous anniversary (the thirteenth since the Tzotzil professor was incarcerated) to demand his immediate freedom and to send a message of companionship and solidarity to Alberto and his prisoner compañeros, also adherents to the Sixth.

“It is not the struggle of one man alone, but of an entire people,” said the El Bosque parish priest, Magdaleno Sánchez Ruiz. His counterpart Marcelo Pérez, from Simojovel, demanded “Patishtán’s freedom in the name of God.”

“We hope that the government does what it must do, which is to free him. It is not a favour. It is a demand for justice,” the organization Pueblo Creyente (Believing People) stated. “If there is no justice, the people have to rise up and cry out, even the rocks have to shout.”

Cries of “Freedom” and “Justice” continued. The man known as “Father Marcelo” indicated, from the rudimentary altar set up a few metres from the prison’s wire fence: “He who cries out is not complicit.”

Inside the prison, the prisoners of The Voice of El Amate and those in Solidarity with the Voice of El Amate also demonstrated and prayed for their freedom. From there, Alberto Patishtán sent a handwritten message to the people who filled the car park and the entrance: “The reason for my arrest was because I was on the side of the poor, the oppressed, the hungry and those who have nothing,” said the teacher, a native of El Bosque, currently the most important prisoner of conscience in the country, who has unleashed a significant international movement for his liberation.

“I do not regret having helped my poor brothers, on the contrary, I feel happy about having fulfilled my duties a little”, Patishtán added.

Once the religious ceremony and the solidarity messages were finished, such as the one from the Peoples United for the Defense of Electric Energy in the Northern Zone, those in attendance walked around the Los Llanos Prison, making the guards, today reinforced by many others, very nervous. This unprecedented action, with a banner of the Virgin of Guadalupe at the front, surely enabled the prisoners to hear the voices from outside demanding their freedom: “Patishtán, your friends are here.”

Professor Patishtán continues to gain important friends. His defense said that soon he will have a visit from the recognized US Latino leader Baldemar Velázquez, who is considered an heir of the thinking of César Chávez. He is now the Vice President of the important AFL-CIO union, and for years he presided over the Farm Labor Organizing Committee (FLOC, its initials in Spanish).

Today, time runs against Patishtán’s enemies: those politicians from the local power system who have systematically prevented his liberation for unclear reasons, without caring how much the demand for his freedom has now been legitimized, based on the the conviction that he has spent 13 years behind bars for no reason.

———————————————————-

Originally Published in Spanish by La Jornada

Thursday, June 20, 2013

http://www.jornada.unam.mx/2013/06/20/politica/015n1pol

 

English translation by the Chiapas Support Committee for the: International Zapatista Translation Service, a collaboration of the: Chiapas Support Committee, California, Wellington Zapatista Support Group, UK Zapatista Solidarity Network

 

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Alberto Patishtán Could Be Released Soon – NGOs

Filed under: Political prisoners — Tags: , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 11:17 am

 

Alberto Patishtán Could Be Released Soon – NGOs

Fernando Camacho Servín

La Jornada,  20th June, 2013

The case of Alberto Patishtán, the indigenous teacher sentenced to sixty years in prison, is entering a decisive phase. In the coming weeks, a federal appeals court based in Chiapas will appoint the judge in charge of analysing his sentence, which could lead to his release in the short-term, stated members of civic organizations.

At a political-cultural event held yesterday in front of the Palace of Bellas Artes [Fine Arts] in Mexico City to mark the 13th anniversary of his incarceration, the Tzotzil activist affirmed by telephone link from prison in San Cristóbal, that these years of unjust imprisonment have served as an education, and he asked the First Circuit Court to discuss his case “with the heart”.

The teacher’s son, Héctor Patishtán, agreed that his father’s case is entering a decisive stage, even though in March of this year the Supreme Court refused to accept it on grounds that it was “not a priority” matter.

Meanwhile, the indigenous prisoner’s lawyer, Sandino Rivero, emphasized that we are weeks from this being defined. In July or August, it is expected that the judge will be named to preside over the appeal, and he will have ten days either to ratify the 60-year prison sentence or order Patishtán’s release.

Widespread Support

Pablo González Casanova, former rector of the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), emphasized that, in his opinion, the country is undergoing a grave moral crisis, as confirmed by the embarrassing fact that the activist was imprisoned on false evidence for a crime he did not commit.

“It is despicable that a man who represents many indigenous peoples who have been attacked since the Conquest, that this man might be incarcerated. So I ask the judges to act with awareness for freedom,” declared González Casanova.

PRD Federal Deputy Carlos de Jesús Alejandro reported that on Tuesday he presented in the Chamber of Deputies at San Lázaro a point of agreement to demand the release of the indigenous teacher. As a last resort, he pointed out that a presidential pardon is not to be ruled out.

Among other personages, the ceremony was attended by the Secretary General of the Electricians Union, Martín Esparza; the leader of the People’s Front in Defense of the Land, Trinidad Ramírez; actress Julieta Egurrola, and the poet and writer Mardonio Carballo.

 

http://www.jornada.unam.mx/2013/06/20/index.php?section=politica&article=015n2pol&partner=rss

 

 

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Translation by Jane Brundage

 

Classmates I. First those who came first: The Disappeared

Filed under: Marcos, Zapatista — Tags: , , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 9:38 am

 

Classmates I. First those who came first: The Disappeared

JUNE 21, 2013

Classmates I.
First those who came first:
THE DISAPPEARED.

June 2013.

To the adherents of the Sixth in Mexico and in the world:

To the students of the Zapatista Little School:

Compañeroas, compañeras, compañeros:

As you surely don’t know, the first phase of the first course “Freedom According to the Zapatistas” has been completed.

The support materials are ready; the teachers are ready; the registration spots are filled; the indigenous Zapatista families that will host you are figuring out how many students they will have and building structures, gathering kitchen utensils, and setting up the places where students will sleep; the chaufferologists, as Sub Moisés calls them, are fine-tuning their motors and sprucing up their vehicles to transport students to their schools; the insurgents are weaving and unweaving artisanship; the musicians are practicing their best pieces to liven up the party to celebrate the 10-year anniversary [of the Good Government Councils], the arrival of the students, and the end of the course; and a healthy climate of collective hysteria is evident among all those who support the organization. The lists are being reviewed to see who is missing… or who is present and shouldn’t be; and in CIDECI, site of the Unitierra [University of the Earth] San Cristóbal de las Casas, Chiapas, the preparations for the little school and for the Seminar “Tata Juan Chávez Alonso” are moving forward.

And, as was expected, the federal and state governments are reactivating the paramilitaries, encouraging provocations and confrontations, and doing what they do to avoid that you (and others, through you) confirm the advancement of the Zapatista communities, and the stark contrast between Zapatista communities and those communities and organizations who cover themselves with the thin cloak of governmental assistance.

It’s predictable, you know. So typical counterinsurgency manual, so typically ineffective, so useless. So the same as 10, 20, 500 years ago. PRI, PAN, PRD, PVEM, PT, all of the political parties, with imperceptible variations in their discourses, doing the same thing… and reiterating their failure.

Who would have thought that all of the governments, of the entire political spectrum, would so fear the improvement of indigenous quality of life? And we understand their nervous restlessness, their poorly disguised panic, because the message that comes from our side is clear and presents a double-edged threat to them: they aren’t necessary… and they are in the way.

In sum: there is a lot of movement, inside and outside, by them and by us.

And everything, looking at it from the top of this ceiba tree, approximates an orderly disorder (I was going to say a “desmadre,” but those who generously support us with translation to other languages would complain about the abundance of “localisms” that are impossible to translate). I could add that all of this moves seemingly without rhyme or reason, to the rhythms of the ballad-corrido-ranchera-cumbia of the musicians that are a kind of soundtrack to all this movement, and that have a sound that is, to say the least, disconcerting.

Anyway, everything’s moving along.

Now it’s my job to tell you who your classmates will be. Women, men, and ‘others’ of all ages, from different corners of the five continents, from distinct histories.

I have climbed the ceiba tree not just because of my fear of being assaulted by an impertinent beetle, a supposed errant knight, or by the melancholic stories of the cat-dog… well, yes also because of this, but most of all because, in order to tell you about those who were invited first, one must look at one’s heart, which is what we the Zapatistas call the act of remembering, making memory.

The first on the list to be invited are, and will be, those who have come before us and who have accompanied us in this unfinished path to freedom, the fallen and the disappeared in the struggle.

To all of them (male and female) we send a letter of invitation like the one that I annex here. We sent it to them not long ago: yesterday, a month ago, a year ago, 10, 20, 500 years ago.

To understand this letter it will be necessary not only to look and listen to the videos that accompany this text, but also necessary will be a certain dose of memory… and of dignified rage.

Here goes:

 ZAPATISTA ARMY OF NATIONAL LIBERATION.

MEXICO.

To all those fallen or disappeared in the struggle for freedom:

Compañera, compañero, compañeroa:

We send you a greeting from…

Hmm…

Yes, perhaps you are right. Perhaps this has something to do with the lyrics of Gieco, Benedetti, Heredia, Viglietti, Galeano, the stubbornness of the grandmothers and the mothers of the Plaza de Mayo, the incorruptible dignified courage of the women of Sinaloa and Chihuahua, the pain made into persistent search of the relatives of thousands of disappeared across the continent, with all of these people who are so stubborn, so… admirable.

Could be. What is certain is that, in thinking about who could be interested in seeing and listening to us in this act of showing ourselves that we call “the little Zapatista school,” you were the first people that came to mind. All of you. Because despite the fact that we don’t know many of your names, knowing one of you is knowing all of you.

So, if someone is to be responsible for these lines, blame it on memory, that continuous and persistently impertinent thing that won’t leave us in peace, that is always at battle, always at war.

And this is good, we think, as indigenous, Mayas, Zapatistas. It is good that this war against oblivion does not cease, that it continues, that it grows, that it becomes global.

Well yes, it could also be because here we are all a little, or a lot, like the dead, like the disappeared, knocking at the door of history, demanding a place, a small one, small like us. Demanding memory.

But it seems to us, after really thinking it over, that the blame lies with memory.

What’s that?

Yes of course, also with oblivion.

Because it is oblivion that stalks, attacks, conquers. And it is memory that keeps vigil, defends, resists.

That is why we’re making this invitation.

Where will we send it you ask? Yes, that was a problem. Don’t think we didn’t think about that quite a bit.

Yes, maybe that’s why you think it has something to do with León Gieco and that song of his, “In the Country of Freedom.”

Was it because of you all that we called this course “Freedom According to the Zapatistas”? In order to have a place to send the invitation? Well, that hadn’t occurred to us, but now that you mention it, yes, that could be. We would thus avoid the mess of looking for addresses, post offices, email addresses, blogs, webpages, nicknames[English in the original], social networks, and all of these things for which our ignorance is encyclopedic.

You know what? There has been here, and continue to be, not just a few difficult moments. Moments in which it seems that everyone and everything is against us. Moments in which thousands of reasons, sometimes dressed mortally in lead and fire and sometimes dressed finely in comfortable conformist arguments, have attacked us from all sides trying to convince us of the advantages of giving up, selling out, surrendering.

If we didn’t succumb, it wasn’t because we were so powerful and had a great arsenal (of weapons or dogmas, as the case may be).

It was because we are made up of you, by your memory.

You already know of our obsession with calendars and geographies, our very ‘other’ way of understanding ourselves and the world.

Well, here memory is not a question of one day’s ephemera that serves as an alibi for forgetting during the rest of the year. It is not a question of statues, monuments, or museums. It’s, how could I tell you… something less fussy, with less pomp and circumstance. Something quieter, barely a murmur…but constant, stubborn, and collective.

Because here, another way of saying that we do not forgive nor forget, is to not give up, to not sell out, to not surrender.

And instead, to resist.

Yes, agreed, it is not very “orthodox,” but what can you do. It’s one of our ways… or anyways… depending.

So, we wait for you here.

This letter we remit then to “the country of freedom,” the only nation with no borders but with every flag… or no flag (which isn’t the same but is equal nonetheless), and which is the most difficult nation to get to… maybe because the only road there is memory.

We know the current impossibility of you coming to our communities, and sending you the preparatory materials is problematic. But in any case, now, the same as yesterday and tomorrow, you have a special place with us.

Perhaps we will run into each other sooner than planned…or as planned…knocking on some door or peering out a window, but always opening the heart.

In the meantime, don’t forget that when the Zapatistas say “here we are,” we include you in that statement.

Vale. Cheers and let memory resist, that is, live. Because alive they took you and alive we want you back.

In the name of all of the Zapatistas of the EZLN.

                    Subcomandante Insurgente Moisés.                             Subcomandante Insurgente Marcos.

Mexico, May 2013.

(End of the letter-invitation to the fallen and disappeared in the struggle for freedom).

(…)

So now you know who will be among your fellow students.

They’ll be around here. No, they won’t scare anyone. Well, unless someone fears memory and comes looking for forgetting. But since I don’t believe this will be the case, you don’t have anything to worry about.

Perhaps, without meaning to, you will run into the great mother ceiba, the tree that sustains the world. If you have the necessary patience and imagination, gaze at its trunk and ask it a question. Perhaps the mother ceiba, with these very ‘other’ classmates as its company, will respond in the dry creases of its trunk. Ask it whatever you want, but above all, ask it the most important thing:

Ask: With whom will all this be done? And it will respond: With you.

Ask: For whom is this effort? And it will respond: For you.

Ask: Who made it possible? And, maybe with a light tremor, you will hear: You.

Ask: For who is this path?

And the mother ceiba, the earth, the wind, the rain, the sky bleeding light, all of our fallen, our disappeared, will respond:

Freedom…Freedom!… FREEDOM!

So now you know: when you are here in these mountains of the Mexican Southeast, where it rains, it blows, the sky covers or discovers its light, and the earth becomes wet, it will be because, at the foot of the mother ceiba, the sustainer of the world, someone is asking questions…and most importantly, because they are receiving answers.

What comes next then? Well, it seems to me that it will be up to you to tell that story.

Vale. Cheers and let memory neither fall nor disappear.

(To be continued…)

From one corner of memory.

SupMarcos.

Mexico, June of 2013.

:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

See and listen to the videos that accompany this text.

Mario Benedetti, always welcome, and Daniel Viglietti, sing, that is, yell for the disappeared, about the disappeared, with the disappeared. Dedicated to the mothers and grandmothers who don’t give up, don’t give in, and don’t sell out.

…………………………………

Once again Mario Benedetti, emphasizing, with his voice, the impossibility of forgetting. Dedicated to those who don’t forget. 

……………………………..

León Gieco sings, a song of his own writing, “La Memoria,” that stubborn, relentless, fierce memory of those who are not here, but have not gone, nor will they go… as long as there is someone who doesn’t forget them.

………………………………

León Gieco with his song “El País de la Libertad” (The Country of Freedom), that address to which memory must be directed.

…………………………………….

Víctor Heredia explains why “We still sing,” that is, why we don’t forget.

 

Translated by El Kilombo Intergaláctico

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NEW COMMUNIQUE FROM SAN SEBASTIAN BACHAJON

Filed under: Bachajon — Tags: , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 6:49 am

 

NEW COMMUNIQUE FROM SAN SEBASTIAN BACHAJON

SAN SEBASTIAN BACHAJON, JUNE 17, 2013

JUAN VÁZQUEZ GUZMÁN LIVES!

THE BACHAJON STRUGGLE CONTINUES!

INVITATION

THE ADHERENTS TO THE SIXTH DECLARATION OF THE LACANDON JUNGLE OF THE EZLN FROM EJIDO SSB, CHIAPAS, MEXICO, INVITE THE FREE MEDIA AND SISTER ORGANIZATIONS TO ATTEND THE TRIBUTE TO THE MEMORY OF JUAN VÁZQUEZ GUZMÁN

WHICH WILL TAKE PLACE IN CUMBRE NACHOJ, GENERAL HEADQUARTERS OF THE SIXTH OF SSB ON MONDAY 24TH JUNE AT 9 O’CLOCK (HOUR OF GOD) (10 O’CLOCK SUMMER TIME)

FOR WHICH WE HAVE PLANNED THE FOLLOWING PROGRAM

9:00 A.M. PRAYER

9:30 to 11:00 PRESS CONFERENCE

11:00 to 12:00 TRADITIONAL MUSIC

THIS IS ALL SO WE WILL NOT FORGET THE MEMORY AND THE STRUGGLE OF COMPAÑERO JUAN

HIS WORD WILL REMAIN WITH US LIKE A SEED WHICH WILL GROW AND FLOURISH

FROM SAN SEBASTIAN BACHAJON IN THE NORTHERN ZONE RECEIVE OUR WARM GREETINGS AND EMBRACES

RESPECTFULLY

bachajon (1)

 

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STATEMENT FROM THE UK ZAPATISTA SOLIDARITY NETWORK IN SUPPORT OF THE WEEK OF WORLDWIDE ACTION

Filed under: Bachajon — Tags: , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 6:46 am

 

STATEMENT FROM THE UK ZAPATISTA SOLIDARITY NETWORK IN SUPPORT OF THE WEEK OF WORLDWIDE ACTION: “JUAN VÁZQUEZ GUZMÁN LIVES! THE BACHAJÓN STRUGGLE CONTINUES!” JUNE 25TH TO JULY 2ND, 2013.

The UK Zapatista Solidarity Network offers its full support to the Week of Worldwide Action: “Juan Vázquez Guzmán lives! The Bachajón struggle continues!” from Tuesday, June 25th to Tuesday, July 2nd, 2013.

Through this initiative we hope both to help spread awareness of the dignified struggle of the adherents to the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandón Jungle from San Sebastián Bachajón, and to offer solidarity to our brothers and sisters there.

We are shocked and saddened by the brutal assassination of the community leader and human rights defender Juan Vázquez Guzmán and send our condolences to his family, friends and community.

We demand justice for his murder and a full investigation into its material and intellectual authors.

We know that Juan Vázquez Guzmán gave his life in the defence of the land and territory of San Sebastián Bachajón and of our Mother Earth against the ravages of the three levels of Mexican government and their allies in multinational corporations.

We know also that this struggle will continue.

You can read more about the campaign here:

http://vivabachajon.wordpress.com/en-ingles/

UK Zapatista Solidarity Network

June, 2013

Dorset Chiapas Solidarity Group

Edinburgh Chiapas Solidarity Group

KIPTIK

London Mexico Solidarity Group

Manchester Zapatista Solidarity Group

West Yorkshire Zapatista Solidarity Group

Zapatista Solidarity Group – Essex

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FROM ALISAL, US: “JUAN VÁZQUEZ GUZMÁN LIVES, THE BACHAJÓN STRUGGLE CONTINUES!”

Filed under: Bachajon — Tags: , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 6:38 am

 

FROM ALISAL, US:

“JUAN VÁZQUEZ GUZMÁN LIVES, THE BACHAJÓN STRUGGLE CONTINUES!”

Greetings from the Community of Alisal, Salinas, CA, United States

The Committee of the True Word from Alisal has held its first event to provide information about the Week of Worldwide Action: “Juan Vázquez Guzmán lives, the Bachajón struggle continues!”

The event took place on Thursday, June 13, 2013, at the Cesar E. Chávez public library in the city of Salinas, California. During this informative forum discussions took place about the murder of Juan Vázquez Guzmán, the struggle of the people of San Sebastián Bachajón, which is now also our struggle, for the defense of their ancestral lands, and the Week of Worldwide Action: “Juan Vázquez Guzmán lives, the Bachajón struggle continues!”

The Committee of the True Word from Alisal has planned a series of events such as the screening of video messages from the people of Bachajón, and a mass on the 25th of June in celebration of the memory of Juan Vázquez Guzmán.

The struggle of Juan Vázquez Guzmán is now our struggle. Our will and our courage to join the call made by the people of San Sebastián Bachajón to defend their land and their lives is very great. We will show that the words which come from the united peoples are more powerful than the bullets of the governments and their henchmen.

You can read more about the worldwide campaign here:

http://vivabachajon.wordpress.com/

Juan Vázquez Guzmán lives! The Bachajón struggle continues!

 

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Pronouncement from MOVEMENT FOR PEACE WITH JUSTICE AND DIGNITY

Filed under: Bachajon, Movement for Justice in el Barrio — Tags: , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 6:34 am

Pronouncement from

MOVEMENT FOR PEACE WITH JUSTICE AND DIGNITY

about the “Week of Worldwide Action “Juan Vázquez Guzmán lives! The Bachajón struggle continues!”

At the Palace of Fine Arts in Mexico City on the 19th of June, at the event convoked by Alberto Patishtán himself to mark 13 years of his unjust imprisonment, the following greeting was sent to the Worldwide Campaign: “Juan Vázquez Guzmán lives! The Bachajón struggle continues!”

Mexico, Federal District; June 19, 2013

Once again, the indigenous peoples are being injured. It is outrageous that our indigenous compañeros die by assassination for defending their territory and the future of our Mother Earth from the hands of those whose lives are based on greed and violence, and who are trying to destroy everything that gives sense and meaning to life.

Juan stood out for his active involvement in the defense of human rights, he was an adherent to the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandón Jungle of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN), from the ejido San Sebastián Bachajón; former secretary general of the Adherents to the Sixth in his ejido, he participated in the defense of territory and in the struggle for the release of political prisoners, adding his active and sustained efforts to organizing actions for the freedom of Professor Alberto Patishtán. On countless occasions he denounced the social and political violence in his ejido, which was generated by the government in order to weaken the ejidal organization and to consummate their dispossession from their lands in order to implement an ecotourism project. Since 2011, Juan followed closely the legal defense of the ejidal territory, denouncing from the start the lack of impartiality of the seventh district judge in Tuxtla Gutiérrez, and the complicity of the Chiapas State Council of Human Rights (ECHR) with Governor Juan Sabines Guerrero with the aim of ensuring their dispossession from their lands.

Juan left his cornfield, his coffee plantation, to his family, to his two young children and, of course left an irreparable void in his struggle and in the hearts of those who had the opportunity to learn from his steps. We send from here our sincere condolences to the community of San Sebastian Bachajón and his family, and send our greetings of solidarity to the campaign “Week of Worldwide Action: Juan Vázquez Guzmán lives, the Bachajón struggle continues!”

mpjdFrom here we make our own the cry “Juan Vázquez Guzmán, your voice will not be silenced, nor will the work of your heart be ended”.

The murder of our compañero must not go unpunished. This country can no longer live without justice. But justice needs to be clearly seen, so that we can believe in it again. We will continue to demand this until it happens.

Movement for Peace with Justice and Dignity

Platform for original peoples

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June 20, 2013

Catholics denounce indifference of authorities to Tzotzil land dispossession

Filed under: Acteal, Paramilitary — Tags: , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 6:56 pm

 

Catholics denounce indifference of authorities to Tzotzil land dispossession

 ** They walk in pilgrimage and protest from the 58 chapels of San Pedro Chenalhó

** A group of people raided the property on April 29, and justice has not been done, they accuse

By: Hermann Bellinghausen,

San Pedro Chenalhó, Chiapas, June 18, 2013

About one thousand Catholics of this Tzotzil municipality, the majority of them women, arrived walking in the municipal headquarters, coming from “the 58 chapels of San Pedro Chenalhó,” as they said, in pilgrimage and protest over the plunder of a piece of land and a chapel in the Puebla colony: “Almost two months have passed since, on April 29, a group of people headed by Agustín Cruz Gómez (ejidal commissioner and Methodist pastor) raided our property, and the authorities have done nothing to prevent that crime or to repair the injustice.”

After entering the municipal headquarters and parading in front of the municipal presidency, the indigenous stopped at the door of San Pedro parish and read a declaration directed to, among others, “the Christians of good will of all the churches.” It is significant, because once again rumours are brandished that the community problem is because of differences in the profession of faith. And once again the pro-government groups which 15 years ago were paramilitaries who participated in expulsions, aggressions and killings, culminating in the Acteal Massacre, are behind the aggressions.

“We have denounced the acts to the municipal, state and agrarian authorities, and faced with their complicit indifference the land grab has been consummated: they fenced off our land with wire, destroyed our community kitchen, stole sheet metal and construction material,” jointly expounded the parish priest, Manuel Pérez Gómez, also Tzotzil, the parish council and the Believing People of Chenalhó. The presence of the Civil Society Organization Las Abejas was very eloquent.

They remembered: “Omission before the violation of a person’s or a community’s human rights is also a crime. When violence was seizing our municipality in 1997, without the authorities paying attention to the repeated denunciations about what was happening, the authorities became accomplices to the tragedy that culminated in the Acteal Massacre. If they now feel that they have nothing to fear because the Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation protected the impunity of those guilty of the December 1997 Massacre, we say to them that it will not always be that way, because we will not tire of denouncing and of raising our voices and sooner or later Justice will be done.”

The mobilization, which started in the Puebla colony and was getting bigger on its path to the municipal headquarters, was shouting the grievances and demands to the neighbouring populations, calling for “truth and tolerance,” for fraternity among Christians “of different religions” with suggestive ecumenical chants: “If Christ is not dead, then where is he? Christ is in the street shouting freedom.”

It is inevitable to recall that similar plunder or destruction of chapels and temples supplied one of the scenarios of “war” of officialist (pro-government) paramilitaries in the Northern Zone and in this municipality between 1996 and 1999. Although the local press said today that: “those released distance themselves from the climate of hostility in Chenalhó” (El Heraldo de Chiapas), it does not appear to be an accident that this “hostility” broke out after the gradual release of the paramilitaries sentenced for the Acteal Massacre and their similarly gradual return to their communities.

A little while ago, ex mayor Jacinto Arias Cruz was released from prison, the only prisoner who was a native of the Puebla colony. “With his release, his group feels stronger,” a Las Abejas member indicates to the reporter. The same thing is happening in Los Chorros with the return of Roberto Méndez Gutiérrez, who boasts about being the “comandante” of the paramilitary group that perpetrated the massacre. Precisely in Los Chorros a conflict is developing now between two Catholic groups, one of them linked with the paramilitaries.

“It is another proof that the problem is not religious, the confrontations are just being manufactured,” the indigenous man comments to La Jornada.

 

———————————————–

Originally Published in Spanish by La Jornada

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

http://www.jornada.unam.mx/2013/06/19/politica/023n1pol

 

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Violence could surface again in Acteal due to the Persistent Impunity, say Las Abejas

Filed under: Acteal, Paramilitary — Tags: , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 4:01 pm

 

Violence could surface again in Acteal due to the Persistent Impunity, say Las Abejas

 

** They fear that the last 6 paramilitaries imprisoned for the massacre will soon be freed

By: Hermann Bellinghausen

San Cristóbal de las Casas, Chiapas, June 17, 2013

For the Las Abejas organization, the liberation of virtually all the paramilitaries imprisoned for the Acteal Massacre (six remain in prison, whose release is expected soon), represents not only an injustice sufficient to make them lose trust in the Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation (SCJN, its initials in Spanish), but also the confirmation that the intellectual authors, among whom they mention former president Ernesto Zedillo and the current Secretary of Public Education, Emilio Chuayffet, remain unpunished. It represents, above all, a new risk of violence in their communities.

The indigenous organization mentions the campaign to whitewash these paramilitaries started by the international evangelical media, while in Mexico CNN recently presented them as “victims” and “outcasts”.

They are not either of those things, because in spite of the promises by the state and federal governments, they are now back in their communities, and acting. Las Abejas report that according to CNN Mexico, “the paramilitaries released from prison say that they cannot see their families because they cannot return to Chenalhó. But we say that is not true. The majority are already here, building houses, planting milpas in the Miguel Utrilla Los Chorros colony, Acteal Alto, Yibeljoj, Pechiquil, La Esperanza, C’anolal; as if what they did in 1997 had been nothing serious”.

They add that: “there are still people who are misinformed about the real cause of the massacre” and they cite two electronic web pages of Italian evangelicals (Evagelici Net) and French evangelicals (Portes Ouvertes), “which say that they are innocent,” and that they were imprisoned “just for being evangelicals” and “following Jesus.”

Otherwise, Las Abejas say, “the bad governments of Enrique Peña Nieto and Manuel Velasco, and the intellectual authors of the massacre would not hear the echo of our memory, but it is our duty not to forget. Who can remain silent in the face of so much mockery and so many lies? Who can accept the impunity that the ministers of the Supreme Court of ‘Injustice’ have cultivated?”

Only six paramilitaries remain to be released, “although to cover up their shame they decided not to release them yet, or to do it secretly, like they did with a paramilitary comandante, Roberto Méndez Gutiérrez, one of the confessed Acteal killers who now walks around very safely and gets drunk in Los Chorros and Yibeljoj.”

They clarify that in 1997 the paramilitaries were formed by two political parties: the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) and the Frente Cardenista”. They belonged “to different religions –Presbyterian, Pentecostal, Baptist and Catholic. If the Evangelicals were in prison, it was because of their participation in the massacre, not because of being Evangelicals”. It is evident to them that: “some Evangelical pastors of Chenalhó and other parts of the world are embarrassed that their brothers had taken the dark path to kill their own brothers”, because “they became paramilitaries in order to participate in the counter-insurgency war designed by the Mexican State.”

Las Abejas admit that the majority within their organization are Catholics, but there are Presbyterians. “Our brothers were not massacred because of their religious faith, but for belonging to a pacifist organization which struggles for the vindication of indigenous peoples’ rights and against the neoliberal capitalist system, and also for supporting the EZLN’s demands for self determination and autonomy”

They remember that their organization has always opted “for nonviolent struggle.” Now that the ex mayor of Chenalhó Jacinto Arias Cruz is out of prison, he told CNN Mexico that the survivors “were happy to associate with people who don’t like to live in peace. Before that we all lived peacefully”. Las Abejas “remind” Arias Cruz, “who goes around saying that he is innocent,” that “many” can confirm his responsibility for the paramilitarization of the municipality and for the massacre.

Las Abejas and the Acteal survivors conclude: “we are not going to stop until Zedillo, Chuayffet and their whole gang of criminals are brought to justice and condemned”.

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Originally Published in Spanish by La Jornada

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

En español: http://www.jornada.unam.mx/2013/06/18/politica/012n1pol

 

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